SSD – better performance; How about the reliability?

There has been many articles praising and reviewing high performance of SSDs compared to the old mechanical workhorses of the computer world – the hard disk drive. It has been generally assumed that the SSDs offer not only the performance benefit but also the reliability due to the lack of moving parts.

Since SSDs are very new to the computer industry compared to HDDs, there are only a handful of reliability studies showing the practical nature of the solid state drives. As more large data warehouses and other large operators start to adopt the faster SSDs, a preliminary reliability picture starts to emerge; and it is quite surprising.

Usually when one reads or hears about the SSDs, its reliability is supported by a simple fact- the lack of moving parts. However, not many talk about the ever decreasing production size of the NAND flash memory to 25nm raising the risk of data stability or firmware and IC failures raising the risk of the total drive failure.

The SSD technology is new and there are many challenges facing the newcomer. The biggest challenge is the price – the industry is trying to rush to reduce the cost of the SSDs to help with the market adoption. With the rush come mistakes and issues with the reliability. Early adopters who are looking for best performance help the rest of us by purchasing and experimenting with the drives. For those who are looking at SSDs for reliability, it is best to wait until the experimentation is complete.

Early studies into the SSD reliability show comparable results to HDDs. However, it may be too early to tell how the SSDs fare due to the lack of sufficient solid state drives in the market for comparison to the HDDs. It is certain that if reliability is your top concern, the new technology of SSD may be too new and too rushed to get into.

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